Good Question: What’s with all the bees?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Here’s a good question about bees and wasps. I’ve seen them, my coworkers have too, and also viewers are noticing a lot of bees out and about in recent days. What’s the buzz around town?

Is this out of the norm at this point heading into the end of summer?

I got this email this week:

“Hi! Do you have an idea of what is causing all the bees this summer? I thought it was my Rose of Sharon bushes but everyone has been complaining. So do you know what all the ‘buzz’ is about?”  

I sent that good question to the experts at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Ontario County. Are we seeing bees popping up everywhere? Yes.

Is it a takeover in an outlier year for numbers in the population, like those pesky Gypsy Moth Caterpillars that have been an issue in the Finger Lakes? No.

I’m told: “It is usual at this time of year that folks will notice more wasp/hornet activity. At this time they are at their largest population within their ground or aerial nests. They also become more aggressive at this time of year for they are protecting the future queens that will be leaving the nest sometime in September.”

The majority of bees in New York are ground-nesting, solitary bees. They dig.

You could’ve been running over a ground nest all summer when cutting the grass and not noticed anything, then now wonder where they all came from. That’s your answer.

If you have a good question that you want us to answer, email Brennan Somers at